BROOKE: What got your started into it all?
ALEX: College changed everything. I walked into Bellarmine University as a freshman with every intention of pursuing filmmaking. Little did I know, comics were waiting around the corner to win me over. At the time, I’d started reading some comics on the side near the tail end of high school. It started with superhero comics (Captain America, Batman, Thor, Spider-Man, etc.) but it quickly expanded into independent comics. The Crow, Incognito and Criminal in particular opened my eyes to what the medium was capable of.
Comics weren’t bound by the same budget issues as most visual mediums, long as the artist could draw it, it could happen. On top of that, comics were more personal than film, the smaller audience size allowed the creative teams of comics the freedom to do whatever they wanted with the story and there’s an intimacy to reading a page of comic where you can blitz through a story in five minutes or you can take your time with the story to soak in the detailed artwork and assign your own voices to specific characters. Film and TV are very passive mediums by comparison, you watch it on their terms and have to go out of your way to rewind the piece in question if you feel you missed something.
Needless to say, I was hooked. Comics took over my life throughout freshman year, it was a whole new medium with hundreds of different creators and stories for me to choose from. I made it my mission to get a hold of as many stories as a broke freshman with no job could at the time. Slowly, I started to figure out which creators clicked with me the most and made a concerted effort to dive deeper into their catalogues. It was during one of those dives that I picked up a copy of the Immortal Iron Fist Omnibus by Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and David Aja. I didn’t know it at the time when I bought it, but that comic changed my life.
I remember having to wait till I took a biology test before starting it, I probably finished the test around 1pm and once I opened that comic, I couldn’t put it down. Everything from the art to the characterizations and tone clicked with me on every single level. This was a 500-page comic that I put down in a single night! As I was walked back to my dorm room around 1AM, I realized reading comics was not enough for me. I needed to create my own. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for that omnibus.
BROOKE: Omg, I love that. When I saw you at C2E2 I noticed your hoodie first thing and wondered if there was a story behind the Iron Fist merch you chose to wear. And of course it did! But also, I can really relate with pieces of your story here because I too have been almost infatuated with not only filmmaking as a potential thing to explore, but so many other things (an incalculable amount really). And as everyone knows, the photography bug is what bit me hardest and had me working the hardest with very little notice through the years. And that’s when I feel like you really found something special.
I think what is truly amazing though is the fact that not only did comic books really inspire you to read and collect as many as you could, but to actually create and add to the whole world of it all. I think it’s so hard for people sometimes to get started thinking that everything has already been done and the fact that you are pursuing forward against it all is the absolute best.